Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway: The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview

Okay, I have to admit it.  I'll read just about any novel that's Jane Austen themed. But this one had me particularly intrigued, because I love the Darcy character and in addition to that, I loved the cover art. If only all good books could be determined by the quality of the cover art-- it would make things so much easier!

Monica Fairview's The Other Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice sequel, speculating on the days following the marriage of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.  As we recall in the first story, Charles Bingley's sister Caroline had eyes for the dashing and well-bred Darcy.  Despite her flattery and hopes, the man of her dreams chooses to wed Elizabeth, a woman for whom she has held no high esteem.

Enter Mr. Robert Darcy, Fitzwilliam's American cousin.  In town to attend the wedding, he accidentally witnesses the presumed private meltdown of Caroline, distraught over her shattered dreams to wed Darcy.  Embarrassed that he witnessed her in such a vulnerable moment, she quickly comes to resent him.  It's very reminiscent of a moment between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.  And so begins the dance that is their relationship, culminating in an ending that Caroline herself never would have thought possible.

The Other Mr. Darcy was very enjoyable to read.  Monica's style of writing is elegant and true to the culture of the times.  I gained some new vocabulary words in the reading of this novel! Yet at the same time, it was unstilted and entertaining.  There's humor, suspense and of course, romance.  While some of the plot choices made some of the outcomes obvious, it was still a fun ride, seeing where Ms. Fairview would take the characters.

It did take me some time to accept this particular incarnation of the Caroline character, though.  She was so haughty in Pride and Prejudice, and there were times in this story when I found some of her amiability to be a bit unbelievable.  But the benefit of this comes in the redemption of the character, for whom most Prejudice fans have held contempt.  In anycase, Her sister Louisa does a great job of handling the haughty attitude for her.

I highly enjoyed the character of Robert, for he had all the traits of a Darcy without the stiffness of Fitzwilliam.  With his dark, wavy hair and blue eyes, I imagined Patrick Dempsey as an actor who could portray him.  He was earnest and dashing, while still retaining the airs of a proper Bostonian gentleman. 

And on a philosophical note, a line near the end of the book really touched my heart. To paraphrase it without giving anything away, Robert says, "We cannot know where the eye of God lies, but if we stood where He stands, things that seem to be lop-sided to us would be absolutely perfect."  An excellent message to take away after reading a highly enjoyable book.  Thank you, Monica.

Thanks also to Sourcebooks and Grace at Books Like Breathing for hosting the initial giveaway for this book.  I enjoyed it very much, but now I'm going to pass it on to another lucky reader!  Don't worry, I've handled it with care and it's in good condition.

Giveaway Rules

  • One winner only
  • US addresses only, will be shipped Media Mail
  • Become a follower of the blog (or remind me of your current follwer status)
  • Leave a comment below, including your email where I can contact you should you win.
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, November 14th
  • I will email the winner, and if I haven't heard from you in 48 hours, I will pick another winner.

For bonus entries now that you're a follower... be sure to mention the ones you've completed in your comment:
  • Tweet about the giveaway, and be sure to give me your @Name where you posted the Tweet
  • Follow me on Twitter:  @LHartness
  • Post or sidebar about the giveaway on your blog
  • Follow the blog on Networked Blogs

Good Luck!


  1. +1 Thanks for this review It sounds like an interesting book Please enter me
    +2 Follower

  2. I'm a follower!

    +1 Following on Twitter (mindfulmusings)
    +1 Sidebar Link (click blog link below)

    Natalie @ Mindful Musings

  3. I have been dying to read this book!

    I'm a follower of your blog, and I'm following you on Twitter too. I will be tweeting this giveaway as soon as I finish writing this comment ;-) @afewmorepages

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

  4. Excellent giveaway! I'm a blog follower!

    savingforhome at gmail dot com

  5. Sounds like a wonderful book! Love the cover art as well and glad it didn't disappoint.

    Thanks for the entry!

    I follow your blog and on Twitter.



  6. Dont count me in on this fantastic contest, I am international!

    I just have to say that i like your review. I also adore everything that Jane Austen has written and totally am addicted to Pride and Prejudice. :)

    I just become a new followers of your great blog. Please visit mine :)

  7. Nina:

    Thanks for your comment! Thanks for stopping by. I'll definitely go check your blog, too!


  8. I am a follower! Thanks for joining in the link-up party!

  9. Oh yea, I also follow you on Networked Blogs!


  10. I would be interested in this giveaway I twittered here:
    I follow you on networked blogs
    your giveaway is posted on my blog in sidebar..thank you

  11. Hello everyone. Pleased to meet you all here.

    Thank you Laura for a lovely review. I love the idea of Patrick Dempsey as Robert!

    Good luck to all of you in the contest!

  12. Monica: I'm so honored that you stopped by the blog! And that you approve of my Robert Darcy casting choice!

  13. Please enter me. I am now a Follower. Thank you!


    I am now Following on Twitter (@cherierj)

  14. Sounds great!

    I am a follower.

    I also follow on twitter -- doodlebug40.

  15. Hi! - this sounds so great.
    I'm a follower, and I've posted you on my sidebar at

  16. I have read many P&P sequels, many of which, sad to say, are not very good or not in the proper tone. I am definitely putting this one on my reading list.
    Please enter me in your contest:

  17. Please enter me in this giveaway! I would love to read this book. :)

    I am a follower.


    I follow you on Twitter.

    I follow on NetworkedBlogs.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

  18. Awesome review! Thank you for bringing this book to my attention, it definitely sounds worth a try. I've sort of given up on sequels, but your review makes The Other Mr. Darcy sound very different and original, though it'll be sort of weird not hating Caroline. :)

  19. Jenn:

    Glad you liked it! Yes, it's a fun read. Although I don't totally accept this Caroline as the "true" Caroline character. It's a nice alternative version of her. And I'm glad she gets some redemption.



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